Originally published in 1983, Interpretations of Calamity provides a provocative critique of the ‘dominant view’ of research into natural hazards. Throughout the world, there are now many people professionally engaged in the mitigation and control of risks & hazards, and the impact of continuing economic development will ensure that they are fully employed. There is a wealth of perspectives in the book, including weather and wheat yields in the Soviet Union and Canada, an historical view of underdevelopment and hazards in Ireland and the impact of a response to drought in southern Africa, the Sahel and the Great Plains of the USA. The book reflects the major themes of hazards in the context of economic development and social change. Most of the case studies are from the rural and agriculture scene. This book provides a unique view of the vital importance of food production and of the considerable, and sometimes calamitous, impact that frost, flood, storm and drought have on the wellbeing of millions of people and on the stability of the international economic system.

part I|120 pages

Natural Disaster: Mischance or Misnomer?

part II|108 pages

Hazards in Context

part III|69 pages

Alternative Frameworks

chapter 13|32 pages

On the poverty of theory: natural hazards research in context

ByMichael Watts

chapter 14|21 pages

Global disasters, a radical interpretation

ByPaul Susman, Phil O’Keefe, Ben Wisner

chapter 15|14 pages

A general approach to the identification of hazards and responses

ByGeorge E. B. Morren